Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Inara Masala
by MaceVindaloo and Diana

When Mal Reynolds moved to defend the honor of his passenger, Inara Serra, he found himself at the end of a swordfight! But having won the fight through fair means or foul, he also won the contract to transport a whole herd of cattle to another planet in a "under the table" manner. Though Inara did not actually want Mal to defend her against her former client, she found herself flattered that he'd risk death to do so.

So she helped look after the cattle in the cargohold, which included milking the females as they required. They had been raised for beef and thus most of the cattle were bulls, but some females were included on the theory that they'd "calm" the herd.

The crew welcomed the fresh milk, as fresh anything was a rarity on a spaceship spending most of its time in the "black," but they soon grew kind of bored of the raw unpasteurized milk which did taste different from what they were used to, and they tried freezing it. Alas, freezing it forced it to "split" badly; the blue-ish skim milk was used for drinking and as a stew and bread ingredient. Inara took the fatty cream to make a masala, which means "sauce." Everything else in the very rich, special dish came canned or dried, and yet though one could make a decent sauce without the fresh cream, it's what made all the difference!

How did she know how to add that final touch, that perfect addition? Being a companion means knowing all manner of things, from fencing, to milking cows, to making the perfect dish with canned and dried things and making it irresistably delicious! (Mal was very impressed, but he didn't say so, of course. What a boy ...)

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, fresh cracked with a mortar and pestle
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered tumeric
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 12 oz / 335 g tomato paste
  • 40 oz / 1125 g vegetarian duck (if canned, it should be drained and squeezed of extra liquids)
  • 21½ oz / 600 g Campbells tomato soup (2 cans)
  • 1½ tablespoons of Siracha hot chili sauce
  • 1 cup coconut cream (canned)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (fresh)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot or wok.
  2. Add all spices and toast them to a nice brown, but be careful not to burn any of it.
  3. Add onions and sauté till cooked thoroughly.
  4. Add the drained-out mock-duck and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently to allow spices and flavors to be absorbed.
  5. Add tomato paste and mix in well.
  6. Add the hot sauce.
  7. Add the tomato soup and mix well.
  8. Heat thoroughly over low heat. Stir regularly to prevent burning.
  9. Add both the coconut cream and heavy cream, mix thoroughly.
  10. Heat through again. Stir often, but do not boil.
  11. Serve over rice or couscous or pasta. Or serve with any sort of bread (pita, loaf, slices, biscuits, etc.), as you prefer.
Serve 8 to 12.

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